(9)                Changes in How Papers May be Filed
                   in the Patent and Trademark Office

   Beginning April 21, 1992, an improved service will be offered
to people who wish to file papers directly with the Patent and Trademark
Office (PTO) by extending the hours of operation for the Attorneys'
Window located in Room 1B03 of Crystal Plaza Building 2, Arlington,
Virginia. The current hours of operation are from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays within the District
of Columbia. The change will extend the hours of operation until 12:00
midnight on Monday through Friday, except holidays, on a trial basis. If,
after six months, usage does not warrant retaining operations until
midnight, the hours of operation will be reduced.
   This change will provide walk-up, personalized service to firms and
individuals who are filing documents with the PTO. The PTO will continue
to stamp postcard-type receipts to acknowledge the receipt of papers
filed at the Attorneys' Window.
   Also, effective on April 21, 1992, the PTO is discontinuing the use
of drop boxes in the lobby of Crystal Plaza Building 3, Arlington,
Virginia, and at the main entrance of the Department of Commerce
Building, Washington, D.C. (37 CFR 1.6(c)) as means for receiving papers.
   These changes will provide improved services with respect to receipt
and processing of documents while, at the same time, overcoming problems
with the present arrangement.
   Problems encountered with the present arrangement for the drop boxes
have occasionally made it difficult to determine the dates of actual
deposit of papers. For example, there have been many incidents of papers
being found outside of the drop boxes (e.g., on the floor of the main
lobby of the Department of Commerce Building, on the guard's desk, on a
nearby table, etc.). On occasion, the PTO and/or filers have been denied
access to the drop box at the Department of Commerce by building
security guards due to a special event taking place in the lobby.
   Provisions are also available for filing papers through the use of
the certificate of mailing (37 CFR 1.8) and the Express Mail (37 CFR
1.10) procedures.
March 17, 1992                                      HARRY F. MANBECK, Jr.
                                     Assistant Secretary and Commissioner
                                                of Patents and Trademarks
                              [1137 OG 7]